Microsoft To Focus on Search and Ad Technologies

Microsoft Corp. today announced the creation of the Internet Services Research Center (ISRC), an applied research organization dedicated to accelerating innovations in search and ad technologies and delivering them more rapidly to advertisers and customers. The new group will be a part of Microsoft(R) Research, and the team will work closely with MSN(R) and other product groups across the company.

According to Rick Rashid, senior vice president of Microsoft Research, his team has a long history of collaborating with other groups on key challenges and intends to accelerate that work.

“We’re building an even tighter bridge between researchers and product teams,” Rashid said. “The ISRC represents a new model for moving technologies quickly from research projects to improved products and services.”

Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Search & Advertising Platform Group, said deep collaboration between talented developers and researchers throughout Microsoft has consistently delivered advances in search and ad-related technologies. Nadella pointed to efforts concerned with search relevance, spam prevention, product search, content extraction and optical character recognition for book search as examples of past collaboration between the Windows Live Search development team and Microsoft’s research community.

“We’re committed to delivering better, faster search results for our customers and more creative, effective ways of delivering value for advertisers,” Nadella said. “We have been able to make an incredible amount of progress in just a few years. Our investments in engineering in conjunction with ISRC, Live Labs and Microsoft Research will enable us to bring new innovations to the market in a rapid fashion.”

Microsoft named Dr. Harry Shum, who was promoted to corporate vice president, to lead the ISRC. Shum has been chief scientist for the Search & Advertising Platform Group since early 2007. He joined Microsoft in 1996, and has worked in Microsoft Research as a researcher, research manager, assistant managing director, managing director of Microsoft Research Asia and distinguished engineer.

“As the leader of Microsoft Research’s Asia lab, Harry has consistently shown his ability to not only innovate technically, but also motivate and lead teams of bright researchers effectively,” said Rashid. “Selecting Harry to head the ISRC is recognition of the success of Microsoft Research Asia and a vote of confidence in the talent and expertise of the people at our Beijing lab.”

The new organization will bring together research efforts from across the company to develop technologies related to advancing the state of the art in advertising and search.

“Throughout the company we have crack research teams with brilliant minds and fires in their bellies working on next-generation search and ad technologies,” said Shum. “We’re harnessing their energy and ingenuity and consolidating them into one, cohesive organization.”

Shum said the company will continue to invest in bringing the best and brightest minds to Microsoft to tackle the toughest technical challenges and deliver the most creative technologies.

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